Air Force One Spotted Practicing at RDU

“Air Force One” was doing practice landings at RDU this morning.

The president of the United States typically travels in one of two special, Air Force-maintained Boeing 747 jumbo jets. One of the blue-and-white planes, with the American flag on its tail, was doing practice landings at Raleigh-Durham International Airport on Monday.

“Air Force One” is the air traffic call sign and common term for any U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying the president. An aircraft is called “Air Force Two” if it is carrying the vice president or another senior U.S. official.

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The aircraft are referred to by their typical call names when not carrying one of those officials.

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Several aircraft types have been used as Air Force One since the practice began in the 1950s, including two Lockheed Constellations, two Boeing 707s and two Boeing VC-25As (customized Boeing 747-200B series).

RDU officials reported in a Facebook post that “Air Force One” was doing the practice landings.

Airport spokesman Andrew Sawyer said the plane did 15-20 touch-and-go passes through the airport using the 7,500-foot short runway. The practice did not effect any other flights at the airport, Sawyer said.

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